Friday, April 16, 2010

Smile and Say Something Nice…It’s Worth It

This Friday, I'm recommending possibly the greatest film of all time...Or at least, the best film version of what I'd like my life to be like. Validation. 16 minutes of YouTube brilliance, starring the bug scientist from the TV show Bones. If that doesn't get you interested, I don't know what will. Haha. Yeah, I do know what great blog entry. Enjoy!

Have you seen Validation? If you haven’t, you absolutely must. I mean it. See this film. It is worth every second of its sixteen minute, 23 second length. Validation is available on YouTube (the link and search information is listed at the bottom of my blog entry.) I saw it for the first time yesterday, and I think it may qualify for the greatest piece of film I’ve ever seen. Yes, my friends… It might even beat The Empire Strikes Back. That’s big, if you know me well.

Seriously, though, I’m not exaggerating. I really like Validation, and just thinking about it makes me want to see it again. It’s billed as “a fable about the magic of free parking.” But it’s so much more than that. It is a feel-good reminder that the words we choose to say to one another, and the way we say them, can transform the world around us. It’s optimistic, positive, uplifting…and yes, even challenging, because it makes you, the viewer, think about the way you view other people. Do you find yourself as upbeat about other people in real life as you feel as you watch this film? Hmmm. Heady thought for a Friday morning, eh? But it’s worth it.

I won’t tell you the storyline, because the film’s charm comes in the discovery. I don’t want to spoil that for you. But I will say this: The main character, a cheerful and encouraging parking attendant, spends so much of his time smiling that you might be tempted to believe this kind of behavior doesn’t happen in real life.

Except that it does happen—through me. And I can’t be the only person out there who is like this. I smile a lot. A lot lot. Wherever I go, I come across people—some who know me, and some who are complete strangers—who go out of their way to say to me with a smile on their own face, “You’re always smiling!” By and large, that’s true. I can’t help it. I like that about myself. A few people find it odd, I know, but most people love it. And smiling opens doors for me in ways that you wouldn’t expect. It’s great. And it makes me feel good. So why not?

Words are powerful encouragers and joybringers too, just as smiling is. Personally, I love encouraging others because when I say something that helps a person turn a corner in their thinking and see light at the end of what was a dark tunnel, I know I’ve given them a gift worth sharing.

The parking attendant in Validation isn’t afraid to say great things to complete strangers. Suddenly, these strangers become his friends and supporters. Of course they do. We all need encouragement, don’t we? And what is the harm about lifting people up instead of putting them down? I don’t mean lying or schmoozing. I mean showing kindness and letting your words prove that you believe the best about everybody. It’s amazing how doors open for the person who knows how to speak kind, life-filled words to people.

Take time to view Validation as soon as you have the 16 minutes in your schedule to spare. It will bring a smile to your lips and maybe it will give you a new hero to imitate.

To view Validation, you can go to YouTube or Google and search for “Validation short film.” It should come up as the first choice. Or if you are brave about clicking on an embedded link, here it is:

Copyright © 2010 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

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